Visitors

Visitors

keyfacts

Key facts

Qatar has been an independent sovereign state since 1971. It is one of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the others being Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Qatar comprises an 11,500 sq. km peninsula extending northwards into the Arabian Gulf. It has 563 km of uninterrupted coastline. The country’s population stands at 2.3 million and its capital city is Doha.

Hours

Local time is GMT/UCT + 3 hours. There are no daylight savings adjustments.

Business hours

The work week is from Sunday to Thursday, with most offices closed on Friday and Saturday. Government offices working hours are from 07:00 to 14:00.

Public holidays

National Sports Day Second Tuesday in February.
• Eid Al FitrJuly 8, 2016 (may vary with lunar calendar).
Eid Al Adha September 13, 2016 (may vary with lunar calendar).
Qatar National Day December 18.

Climate

Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Mean monthly temperatures range from 17°C in January to 36°C in July, sometimes reaching highs of 40°C+ during the summer. Rain is infrequent, falling in brief showers mainly in winter.

Money

The monetary unit of Qatar is the riyal (abbreviated to QR or QAR). The exchange rate is fixed at US $1 = QR3.64. There are no foreign exchange controls. ATMs can be found in many locations and most shops and restaurants accept major credit cards.

Religion

Qatar is an Islamic country but other religions are respected and Qatar’s cosmopolitan population supports many places of worship from Hindu temples to Christian churches. The timing of Islamic festivals and holidays depends on the lunar calendar, moving about eleven days earlier each year.

Dress code

The attitude to dress in Qatar is quite relaxed, but visitors (men as well as women) should show respect for local culture and customs in public places by avoiding excessively revealing clothing. Context is important. Bikinis and beachwear are acceptable by the hotel pool but not in public places in the city.

Language

The official language is Arabic. English is widely spoken and understood. A wide range of other languages are spoken within the hospitality industry.

 

Telecommunications & important phone numbers

The country code for Qatar is +974. Telecom providers Ooredoo and Vodafone offer pre-paid and post-paid mobile services.
Emergency: 999
Directory Assistance: 180
Hamad International Airport: +974 4010 6666
Qatar Tourism Call Centre: +974 4444 4106

Internet

Wi-Fi broadband hotspots are available across the country and are easily accessible at hotels and public parks.

Electricity

220/240 volts AC 50Hz. Socket type is square three-pin 13 amp (as used in the UK).

Water

Tap water is generally safe to drink in Doha and other urban areas.

Medical matters

There are no major health risks and no special inoculations required by visitors. The quality of healthcare is generally very high. There are many well-stocked pharmacies, with English speaking staff, throughout Doha city, including some open 24 hours.

Safety

Qatar has among the lowest crime rates in the world. It is a safe destination with religious and political stability. While normal precautions should be observed, visitors need have little concern walking in any part of the city..

Disabled visitors

Leading hotels, the airports, shopping malls, larger banks and other new or recently-restored public buildings offer wheelchair access, disabled toilets and allocated parking, but visitors with special requirements are advised to check the situation at other locations.

Visas & Immigration

All visitors to Qatar require a visa, and certain passengers are eligible for visas on arrival.

Visa on arrival

• For detailed information regarding entry visas, please see this page.
• If your passport is from one of the countries on this list then you’re eligible for a single-entry visa on arrival. This is valid for a one-month stay in Qatar. Please approach an immigration counter, present your passport and pay your visa fee.
If you’re a citizen of a GCC country (Gulf Cooperation Council) then you’re eligible for a single-entry visa on arrival. Please approach an immigration counter, present your passport and pay your visa fee.

• Your visa will be valid for a one-month stay in Qatar and it can be renewed for a further two months.
If you’re a resident of a GCC country (Gulf Cooperation Council) then you’re eligible for a single-entry visa on arrival. The visa will only be issued if your residence permit is valid for at least six months and if your profession (as mentioned on your residence permit) appears on this list. Please approach an immigration counter, present your passport and pay your visa fee.
• Your visa will be valid for a one-month stay in Qatar and it can be renewed for a further two months.

Paying your visa fee

• The easiest way to pay your visa fee is with your credit card or debit card, directly at a passport control counter directly at an immigration counter. The visa fee depends on your nationality and type of visa.
• If you’d like to pay your visa fee with cash, then you need to visit the designated bank counter before you approach a passport control counter. The bank will charge a fee (QAR 25/USD 7) for processing your cash payment. All major currencies are accepted.